Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sweet Fragrant Meadows of Dawn and Dew

"Till There Was You" is the first cover song to appear on "With The Beatles" LP/CD. It's a very, very syrupy song and very cheeseball sounding in my opinion. The song was written for a musical entitled "The Music Man". I think the version heard by the Beatles was sung by Peggy Lee in the musical. The song was composed by Meredith Wilson.

The Beatles were very familiar with this song as they performed it in Germany and Liverpool long before they had their recording contract. In fact, it was one of the tunes performed for the Decca audition and can be heard on various semi-legitimate recordings of the audition of various formats.

The final recording features The Beatles pulling out their acoustic guitars and Ringo playing bongos. Paul plays bass and sings lead. The first attempt at the song was recorded on July 18 1963 in Studio Two: Three takes were recorded but it was decided to "re-make" the song at a later date. Therefore, a week and half later on July 30 1963 the Beatles re-recorded the song with five more takes and it was completed at this session. The song was mixed for mono a month later on August 21 1963 in Studio Three and mixed for stereo on October 29 1963 in Studio Three.

"Till There Was You" was performed live and became a staple of the Beatles' live repertoire. The main purpose that I think it was performed live so much was to show a versatility to the "older generation" of the day. It was a showcase to ensure that adults would accept the Beatles as "all around entertainers". Of course, this is all speculation but watching the first live broadcast of the Ed Sullivan show , for example, shows "Till There Was You" as being performed as the second song in the list. I like George Harrison's lead, by the way. Very classy. Some examples of the live version include the Royal Variety performance in November 1963, the aforementioned Ed Sullivan show, and the Big Night Out variety show in 1964. It was the LPs power ballad !!

"Till There Was You" appears on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "With The Beatles", the Capitol of Canada 6000 series LP "Beatlemania: With the Beatles" and the US Capitol "Meet the Beatles" LP/CD. A live version appears on the Lingasong 2-LP: "The Beatles Live at the Star Club".

"Till There Was You" was performed eight time for BBC radio: "Pop Go the Beatles" episodes 2, 7 and 13. Twice on "Saturday Club", once on the "Variety Performance" and twice on "From Us to You".

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